Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Abbott/Eisai's Humira is poised to overtake Centocor/Schering-Plough/Mitsubishi Tanabe's Remicade as the Crohn's disease market leader by 2012. Humira will retain its leading position through 2017, despite competition from two new TNF-alpha inhibitors, UCB/Otsuka's Cimzia and Centocor/Schering-Plough/Mitsubishi Tanabe/Janssen's golimumab.

The new Pharmacor report entitled Crohn's Disease finds that, owing to its convenient self-administration, Humira will continue its rise to leadership in the Crohn's disease drug market as patients will favor Humira over Remicade, especially in the maintenance setting. Increased uptake of current agents and the emergence of new therapies will drive robust 8.8 percent annual growth in the Crohn's disease market from 2007 to 2012 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan. Growth will be tempered to 5.8 percent annually from 2012 to 2017 as the market becomes more crowded with emerging therapies.

Among the emerging agents for Crohn's disease, Cimzia will likely gain approval in Europe by 2012 but safety concerns will prevent the approval of Biogen Idec/Elan's Tysabri in Europe and will limit its sales in the United States. Market growth from 2012 to 2017 will be driven by the uptake of emerging biological therapies, most notably Centocor/Janssen-Cilag's Stelara and Abbott's ABT-874.

"Gastroenterologists we interviewed indicated that they are using biologic agents earlier in their treatment regimens for Crohn's disease," said Benjamin Guikema, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "New market entrants that are likely to be successful, such as Stelara and ABT-874, will see their greatest use as maintenance therapies for the disease because physicians are increasingly prescribing biologics as long-term maintenance therapies after patients have achieved a response with acute treatments such as corticosteroids."

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